Expressive typography

Luche's picture

I'm a graphic design student an I'm doing my final thesis on the visual characteristics
of typography and the way it communicates with the reader.I was wondering if you guys can help me with the literature and recommend me some books or papers.
Thanks ;)

Ess.P9's picture

I’m not sure about a book about the visual characteristics, but I've been reading a book called Type . It gives a really good foundation of the history of typography. I found the information helpful and interesting and it dose mention some notable characteristics of certain fonts, but mainly focuses on the designers and their lives. I'll be watching this thread, because I’ve been looking for a good book on the subject. Good Luck


speter's picture

You might want to consult While You're Reading by Gerard Unger.

But "visual characteristics of typography and the way it communicates with the reader" is a bit broad. If you can narrow it down a bit, perhaps we might be able to suggest more books that would be worthwhile. Otherwise, just about any book on typography covers the visual characteristics and how it communicates with the reader.

Luche's picture

Thank you!
Well, my big questions about that theme are:
Do you think typography can communicate the way we speak?
How many emotions can be communicated through typography?
Why has someone used that typeface instead of some other (in advertising, in packaging..)?
Do you think a typeface can illicit zero emotional reaction in the viewer?

I already read The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst, Thinking with type by Elen Lupton, TypoGraphic by Ivan Vartanian, Logo Font&Lettering Bible by Leslie Cabarga, and The Vignelli Canon by Massimo Vignelli.
I read this books becouse they were the only one I could find. I think about ordering from amazon but i have modest budget :(

speter's picture

Ah, I see. For that you might look at Pioneers of Modern Typography, The New Typography, and old issues of Emigre.

Michael Hernan's picture

@ Luche
You have just asked at least 5 fascinating questions.
Please start 5 Worksheets each one dedicated to a different idea and see where it takes you...

then perhaps map what you have done and see if anyone was thinking the same thing.
Don't think you have to look at books first - this might actually start to limit your thinking.

-or perhaps seeing other work then will set up a new set of questions...

Michael Hernan

iamcorey's picture

If you're looking for another quick but very informative read, buy a copy of Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works by Erik Spiekermann and E.M. Ginger.

Editorial review on Amazon:

"It explains in everyday laymen's terms what type is and how you can use it to enhance the legibility, meaning, and aesthetic level of your work. They elegantly touch on all aspects of typography, including the history and mechanics of type, how to train your eye to recognize and choose typefaces, and how to use space and layout to improve overall communication."

Chris Dean's picture

Ehses, H. (1976). Design Papers 1. Semiotic Foundation of Typography. NSCAD University. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Ehses, H., Lupton, E. (1988). Design papers 5. Rhetorical handbook: An illustrated manual for graphic designers. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

The only place I know where to buy these books is at the NSCAD University bookstore.

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